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Sebastien de Maio close to joining Fiorentina

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Now that the Corluka deal has fallen through, it's on to the French-born Anderlecht defender, who's only been in Brussels for a month or so.

Sebastien is strongest.
Sebastien is strongest.
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Now that Vedran Corluka, once the presumed "Mr. X," has re-signed with Lokomotiv Moscow, Fiorentina are scrambling to find a new central defender. While fans might have hoped that the Della Valles would shell out for Martin Caceres, it looks like they've instructed Corvino to shop for a Chevy Geo rather than a Maserati. Case in point is the news that the club is closing in on Sebastien de Maio, recently of Genoa.

De Maio's had a rather topsy-turvy month, as he just joined Anderlecht from Genoa for €3 million. Already homesick for Italy, where he's spent his entire professional career after coming up through the Nancy system, it sounds like he's demanded a move back just weeks after arriving in Belgium. A more-than-likely-confused Anderlecht seems willing to grant him his release, so he could move to Fiorentina on loan (as he's not allowed to transfer change his registration twice in the same year) with an option to buy.

A rugged penalty-box defender, de Maio's a rather abrupt departure from a Corluka or a Caceres, who are also comfortable out wide; he's strong as an ox and excellent in the air, but uncomfortable in space and not exactly a threat with the ball at his feet. He made 28 appearances for Genoa last term, notching a goal, an assist, 5 yellow cards, and a red card across 2,234 minutes. In Serie A, he won 61% of his aerial duels (good for 17th in the league), succeeded in 715 of his tackles (although he didn't tend to go for that many), intercepted as many passes as Facundo Roncaglia, and tied for 7th in the league in fouls per 90 minutes.

While he's a step down from Gonzalo Rodriguez and Davide Astori, he'd be an upgrade over Nenad Tomovic in the heart of the defense and should be well-equipped to handle the bottom half of the Serie A table, especially if he's willing to accept a reserve role. If nothing else, he'll make an acceptable year-long stopgap while Ricardo Bagadur, Saverio Madrigali, and Gianluca Mancini obtain the experience necessary to make it with Fiorentina.